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Heatwave wins twice at Folsom High

By: Brett Ransford/Telegraph Correspondent
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Home cooking is working for the Heatwave. In Sunday’s home game against the Central Valley Dawgs, the Sacramento Heatwave walked away with a 139-123 victory. The score itself was emblematic of each team’s defensive efforts, or rather lack thereof. Unconcerned with Central Valley’s inability to stop him was Sacramento’s Elzie Bibbs with a season-high 32 points. Red hot from the start, the Heatwave blazed 24-of-42 3-pointers, seven belonging to Bibbs. Sacramento scored 35 points or more in all but the second. The Heatwave and coach Reggie Davis took their second of back-to-back wins. “Offensively we played Heatwave basketball,” Davis said. “We shared the wealth leading to a lot of participation on the offensive end. We’re an offensive-minded team working to be more defensive. I told them I’d rather see us with eleven fouls than five or six because we don’t want to give them that many points on the other end.” The Dawgs are the epitome of a sixth man team, literally. They brought six players to Folsom against a Heatwave team ready to run them out of the gym. The Central Valley game followed the Heatwave’s 125-78 slaughter of visiting Modesto Explosion on Saturday night. Point guard Darius Wright left the team weeks ago taking with him 20 or even 30 points in any given game, but the Heatwave offense didn’t suffer last night with Matt Johnson running the point. In the two games that he has led his team to a 264-201 scoring advantage. Against Central Valley, Johnson toasted the defense with a near triple-double 18 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. “We have a whole new philosophy of pushing the ball and playing an up tempo pace,” said Johnson. “We’re trying to get up court, find the open shooters or big men and reward them trying to play a team game. They came up here with six guys so we knew they’d get tired, maybe not in the first or second quarters but eventually they’ll wear down and I found openings, my team found me and it was a good team game.” The other starting guard for Sac was James Doran. When a backcourt combines for 46 points, 20 assists, 12 rebounds and four steals it makes for a long trip home for the visiting team. Doran was spot on for his double-double 28 points, 10 assists, four rebounds and three steals. Even more impressive was the fact that Bibbs came off the bench to earn his 32 points. “I was just getting to the open spot and knocking them down,” said Bibbs. “We had the ball moving to the right man at the right time all night tonight and we were able to finish.” Allowing 123 points against a team with only six players is not a defensive effort that Davis is proud of. “In the West we’re still right there for playoffs,” Davis said. “In the end we’ll get in, but we need to improve our overall defense and mental toughness. When you recognize you have a win in your hands and start to play casual it eliminates the intensity from earlier in the game. We need to make a statement with our game. This could have been 139-99.” Davis and the Heatwave will have the chance to defend their hot play as they spend the next two games on Thursday and Friday at the Compton Cobras and again against the Dawgs, respectively. After the two-game road trip it’s back home for a three-game stretch to end regular season play.